No, not coming up with the idea. That part is fun and easy. I can come up with a million story ideas, and every now and then, one of them is actually pretty good!
The next part is turning that good idea into at least sixty-thousand words. If you know me, you know that I can talk for days…months, even! It’s entirely possible that one day I’ll get started, and never actually stop. So this part is not the most difficult part of being a writer for me. Sure there are times when scene A doesn’t connect so easily to scene B, but eventually, a bridge is built and everything flows together.
Then there’s the re-write. It’s a little boring, in my opinion, because the novelty of getting your story written has passed, and now you’re left cleaning up your mess. And I can leave one, big, hot mess. It’s a lot of work, but not the hardest part, for me.
Editing is a nightmare, I’ve made no attempt at hiding the fact that I detest editing. Even saying the word “edit” makes me throw up in my mouth. But I can push through and do my best.
Then there’s the part where I have to come up with a title for my novel. This part is only slightly worse than a root canal, but still not the most difficult part of being a writer.
After all that and a little more, it turns out the hardest part of being a writer, at least for me, is the marketing! Nobody warned me how hard it would be.
First of all, I’m just a drop in the ocean over here! I’m barely noticeable in a room of ten, much less a sea of millions. It’s hard to stand out against a backdrop of so many fantastic writers.
Second, I’ve been conditioned to be humble and not brag. A popular saying when I was growing up was “nobody likes a show-off” and that lesson really stuck. So I’m supposed to be over here saying things like “Check out my awesome new book, I guarantee you’ll love it!” or “I really outdid myself this time, you have to read this!” or “Get your copy of the best book ever written!” But inside my head it’s more like “Check this out if you want!” or “This one might be pretty good and if you think you might like to give it a chance that would be super!” or “I feel really bad asking you to buy this, I wish I could give it to you for free just in case you think it sucks.” But according to my husband, that’s just bad marketing, and he’s a Virgo so he thinks he knows everything and, frustratingly enough, he’s usually right.
And lastly, I grew up in the Catholic school system, where (back then) from a very young age we were conditioned to believe that everything we did was a sin, and all of our choices are wrong and shameful. I hear it’s a lot different these days, however, I did not escape without my fair share of guilt issues. So anytime I ask someone to “like” and “share” anything promoting my book, I get heart palpitations over the fact that I’m asking them for something. Like, no one owes me anything, what right do I have to bother them with my personal business? And Lord forbid they don’t “like” or “share” because then I just know I’ve crossed a line and must hang my selfish head in shame.
Who knew promoting yourself was such a hard thing to do? It feels uncomfortable and unnatural, and I wish it wasn’t a part of being a writer. Maybe after my fifty-seventh novel, it’ll be less painful.
Thank you for letting me be honest!